Breaking a Stalemate in Palatine Child Custody Cases
A Florida mother recently filed suit in Federal Court to prevent her ex-husband from having their four-year-old son circumcised. However, a lower Court has ordered the woman to turn the boy over for surgery — she had previously agreed to allow the circumcision in a child custody agreement.
Illinois Joint Legal Custody
The default under Illinois law is to grant a child’s parents joint legal custody — an arrangement that can be granted even if one parent has primary physical custody. Joint legal custody means both parents have a right to make decisions regarding all aspects of a child’s life, including religious upbringing, education and medical care. Parents who share legal custody are therefore required to talk and come to an agreement on all issues, just as they would if they were still married.
Yet even when parents remain married, there are times when they will disagree on their child’s best interests.
When parents disagree, one may choose to resolve a stalemate by going behind the other parent’s back. A parent may even go as far as hiding his or her child from the other parent — a action taken by the mother in the Florida case. Secrecy can be devastating to any marriage; but a direct violation of a Court order, which requires both parents to come to a consensus on major issues, can be detrimental for a parent. Preventing a parent from exercising his or her rights to custody and/or visitation can provide ammunition for the other parent to seek a custody modification, can lead to charges of contempt and may result in kidnapping criminal charges.
A legal option to resolve a disagreement is filing a lawsuit. In any case involving children brought before the Court, a Judge will base his or her decision on what is in a child’s best interests. The evidence, necessary to convince a Judge to decide in one’s favor, depends on the particular issue at hand and may include the following:
- Testimony from the parents regarding their rationale for their position for or against the issue;
- Medical evidence including testimony from doctors, therapists and specialists in regard to a prescribed course of medical care;
- Testimony from teachers regarding the child’s academic performance and/or behavioral issues;
- Opinions of the child’s counselor or therapist regarding his or her emotional well-being and the potential impacts of a particular decision; and
- The preference of the child, pending he or she is old enough to provide one.
Palatine Child Custody Attorney
If you and your child’s parent are unable to reach an agreement regarding any aspect of your child’s care, Nicholas W. Richardson, a dedicated Palatine child custody attorney, can help. For more than 10 years, Nicholas W. Richardson has helped thousands of clients negotiate disagreements over child rearing decisions. A trained mediator, Nicholas W. Richardson is uniquely equipped to sit down with the other side and work toward a mutually agreeable resolution. When an agreement cannot be reached, he has the experience and skill necessary to bring your case to trial. Contact the office today to schedule your free initial consultation.